Lenovo has officially entered the PC stick game with the announcement of the Ideacentre Stick 300 on June 23. The stick is designed to plug into any display to give it PC capabilities, such as Web browsing and video conferencing. Lenovo has specified that the Ideacentre Stick 300 will debut on retail shelves this fall in the U.S., starting at $129.
The pocket-sized PC stick is 15mm thin and comes with Intel Baytrail Processor Z3735F, 2GB of memory and 32GB of storage. Although it will initially ship with Windows 8.1, Windows 10 will be available as a free upgrade to users, as is true for all Windows 8.1 systems. The new operating system from Microsoft is slated to debut for PCs and tablets in July 29.
In addition to being compatible with the latest OS from Microsoft, the Ideacentre Stick 300 comes with Bluetooth 4.0 and 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi connectivity. It can function with a 2.4GHz wireless keyboard and mouse for typing purposes as well.
In terms of software, Lenovo has preloaded a free three-month trial to Microsoft Office 365 onto the stick. The Ideacentre Stick 300 comes with one HDMI port, one MicroUSB 2.0 port and an SD card reader. Interestingly, the stick includes a tiny speaker, so it can provide audio capabilities even to displays with no speakers of their own. This is a unique trait for a stick-PC, as far as we know.
“We’ve looked at the computing needs of travelers, business people and families, and realized that a truly portable and affordable solution would be a significant benefit to users of all kinds,” said Jun Ouyang, vice president and general manager of Worldwide Desktop and Visuals at Lenovo.
Lenovo is one of the late-comers to the game in terms of PC sticks. For example, Intel has already launched the Compute Stick, which comes with an Intel Z3735F quad-core processor for $150. CTL debuted its own Compute Stick at the beginning of the year as well, which retails for $159. Lenovo may be able to make a splash due to the price of its product, which is about $20 less than the others on the market.